I was trimming my hollies and found that they had what looked like some puffy white growth, and the leaves were covered with what looked like black ash. Then, one of the puffy white growths crawled. UGH. I am assuming this is scale, but I don't know for sure and I don't know what to do specifically for my hollies. They are not new; they are 8 years old and have looked great and healthy until last fall when one looked sick with some yellowing of leaves. I did not find anything visibly wrong with it last year, so I pruned it where it was looking bad and hoped for the best. Now this year, that one and the one next to it are covered in black ash with some white, fuzzy bugs. Can you help me?
How Do I Get Rid of Scale on My Holly Bushes?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It is possible that it is scale but sounds more like mealybugs. I like to treat both with neem oil. It is very effective and safe. The black residue is sooty mold, which is a side effect of the pests. Neem oil can treat this as well. These articles will help: